In today's times, none of us are satisfied with how our hair feels or looks. We are constantly on the lookout for new treatments, styling gadgets, products - everything that will cater to our definition of shiny, beautiful hair. But little do we pay heed to how these excessive styling sessions can have an adverse effect on our hair. Heat damaged hair is not a pretty sight and all of us had seen those dry, frizzy, dehydrated ends of our hair that are enough to give us nightmares! Whatever be the reason, we are occasionally (sometimes even frequently) tempted into using those heat styling tools for dreamy hairstyles. If brittle and rough hair has been your problem, it's time for you to work on that. So, here we are giving you a full lowdown on what makes our hair prone to these damages and how we can revive stronger and radiant hair.
(Also Read: Benefits Of Air Drying Hair: Guide To Healthy Hair At Home Without Heat Damage)
What Makes Our Hair Prone To Damage?
To be honest, it's actually our daily haircare routines and habits that often cause the most damage to our hair. Award-winning skin and hair specialist, Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta of Isaac Luxe, Delhi reasons, "Often usage of hot styling tools can make your hair dry, prone to breakage and consequently more likely to fall out. Usually, we never think about this but many women in India braid their hair. However, frequent twists or locks in your hair can lead to excess hair breakage and ultimately hair loss. Frequent colouring of the hair, iron deficiency and one of the common causes of hair damage in Indian women is stress."
Even scorching summers can do damage to your hair. "It may be fun in the sun, but overexposure can cause hair damage if you aren't careful. Bright sunlight can erode the vibrancy of your hair colour by destroying its natural melanin pigments. Overexposure can also damage the keratin in your hair, so it feels brittle," says Veronica Alanis, engineering lead at Dyson. She also adds that improper brushing and combing techniques can overstretch the strands and weaken them to the breaking point while aggressive brushing could also hurt the shiny outer layer of your hair, making it feel rough and look dull.
How Does The Heat From The Appliances Affect The Hair?
Damaged hair doesn't just become weak; it loses its natural shine and looks all dull. Celebrity skin and wellness expert, Dr Kiran Sethi of Isya Aesthetics, New Delhi throws light on it. "Our hair can handle some heat, but repetitive heat will damage the cuticle permanently. Every time you reshape your hair, it becomes just that much weaker."
Since styling plays a major part, it actually all goes down to how often you do it. "If you continue using heat styling tools frequently, the heat will alter the condition of your hair causing it to become dry or the colour to fade. The heat causes a chemical reaction in the protein within your hair. Even a few minutes of direct exposure to excessive heat can cause damage to the hair. Heat damage can make straight hair appear dry and brittle. It can also exaggerate the appearance of split ends and make it harder for your hair to lie flat," tells Debabani Guha, National Trainer at L'Occitane En Provence India.
How Much Heat Is Actually Endurable By Our Hair?
To that, Debabani shares, "Usually, it depends on the hair type as well as the hair condition. The best way is preventive care especially if heating devices is a regular practice. The usual recommendation is to keep the temperature set below 300-degrees. If you have coarse, curly or unruly hair then you might need a little more heat but avoid going over 330-degrees. The most important step is to always use a heat-protector whenever styling with heat."
While it is nearly impossible to prevent all types of hair damage, Dr Geetika tells us that it takes approximately 15- 20 heat styling sessions to see visible damage on your hair that ultimately weakens the hair shaft, and you can start experiencing hair fall. "Curly or porous, already damaged hair is more likely to get damaged faster, however straight and shiny hair can handle more," shares Dr Kiran.
Frequent styling could gradually exhaust the healthy energy of the hair. The question of how to balance hairstyling and hair health issues has become more prominent than ever.
Swirlster Picks Products That Can Help Your Heat Damaged Hair
Is It Possible To Revive Healthy Hair Back?
The best solution for heat-damaged hair is to prevent it altogether. Dr Geetika also adds that hair can be revived from heat damage up to 60-70%. She tells us some proven strategies that can protect and treat the hair -
1. Clean Your Scalp
"Washing not only cleans your scalp but also reduces the clogging of pores. Hair must be washed at least twice a week!"
2. Take Care Of Your Scalp
"Extreme heat also affects the health of our scalp. If the scalp is exposed to excess heat, it is possible to experience Folliculitis or inflamed boils on the scalp. Make sure you protect your scalp from harsh weather and chemicals like chlorine that irritate both your hair and your scalp. So, try to pick a shampoo without any Sulphates or Parabens."
3. Try Salon Treatments
"Urban life subjects us to high levels of pollution that affects our scalp and aggravates scalp concerns. An anti-pollution detox is, therefore, a must-do, leaving it refreshed and light. Conditioning sprays rich in keratin can also soothe broken bonds in the hair follicles."
Further, Debabani mentions damage control methods to treat the hair. "Before using any hot styling tools use a heat protecting serum that can seal the hair cuticle and make it more resistant to heat damage. Use a microfibre towel after washing as it helps to speed up the drying process and less time is spent under the blow dryer. However, if you're still using one, always keep the blow dryer 5 inches or more away from the surface of the hair."
DIY Home Remedies To Treat Heat-Damaged Hair
Although we cannot reverse the action of damage done by heat appliances, we can always use easy and simple home remedies that can help repair heat damaged hair. "You can't 100% fix the damage but you can avoid all the excessive hairstyling. DIY home remedies like coconut oil massage, avocado, egg yogurt, honey and aloe vera mask have shown to work well," Dr Kiran adds.
It may be possible to restore your hair's natural texture and shine with a few adjustments to your hair care routines with ingredients that allow for good hydration and nourishment to soothe broken bonds. "Hair masks and deep conditioning treatments that are rich in moisturising ingredients, such as shea butter and argan oil, can help bring your hair back to its bouncy best. Choose moisture-rich conditioners with coconut oil, avocado or aloe vera to help your hair follicles," advises Dr Geetika.
Heat damaged hair needs constant protection and care in order to be revived. Like everything needs time to heal, similarly your hair needs to breathe for some time without styling tools or chemicals. It is best to reset your hair care routine and wait patiently for your desired goals.
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